Last month, the Communist Party of China (CPC) held its 20th National Congress, an event of great significance in the sense that it charts the course for the country’s domestic and foreign policies for the next five years and beyond. With new tasks and objectives set, China is now embarking on a new journey. Where is China headed? What does it mean to the world? These are questions that matter to countries across the globe.
In the past week, China’s top leadership provided the answers. From 14 to 19 November, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Indonesia and Thailand back-to-back for the G20 summit and the ensuing Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting, and met with over 20 world leaders face-to-face, calling for concerted efforts to promote global development and strengthen global governance. In a world mired in uncertainties and instability, the messages from China are reassuring.
China is committed to promoting global development through its own development.
In his conversations with world leaders, President Xi articulated China’s central task for years to come, which is to achieve national rejuvenation through a Chinese path to modernization. It will be the modernization of a huge population, of common prosperity for all, of material and cultural-ethical advancement, of harmony between humanity and nature, and of peaceful development.
With over 1.4 billion people, China will provide a super-large market. To date, the size of middle-income group in China has already exceeded 400 million and it will continue to grow, considering the country’s emphasis on delivering prosperity for all. The enormous buying power of the Chinese people, together with the government’s commitment to opening the market wider, will give a strong boost to economic development elsewhere.
The positive spillovers will not be limited to the economic field. China’s focus on ecological conservation and environmental protection is already paying off, driving the low-carbon transition at home and green development across the world. With culture and education being one of the pillars in China’s modernization drive, international exchanges in these areas will grow and nurture a climate of mutual understanding and friendship among nations.
All this will be premised on a peaceful environment. China has all along made it clear that it will not repeat the beaten path of traditional powers in advancing its modernization. Instead of seeking hegemony and exploiting latecomers, China is embracing a vision of community with a shared future among all countries.
China is committed to strengthening global governance through multilateral cooperation.
The G20 leaders and APEC economies gathered at a time of fragility and momentous changes. The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet. The geopolitical situation remains tense. Global recovery is being hampered by the crippling food, energy and financial crises. Some have opted for decoupling and severing supply chains, with the talks of “friend-shoring” or “reshoring”.
China’s answer to the challenges of the times is an unequivocal stand with peace, development and win-win cooperation, and for upholding true multilateralism and open regionalism to revitalize global governance. President Xi called on world leaders to replace division with unity, confrontation with cooperation, and exclusion with inclusiveness. Solidarity and common development are the only right choice to make.
China’s proposals were incorporated into both the G20 Bali Leaders’ Declaration and the APEC Leaders’ Declaration, pooling consensus and building confidence for international solidarity and cooperation. In addition, the announcement of the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2023 is much welcomed, as it will inject fresh impetus to global development.
China is committed to a healthy and stable relationship with the United States.
The China-U.S. relationship is one of the most consequential bilateral relationships in the world. With global challenges and crises compounding one another, it is high time that the relationship be brought back on track. The bilateral summit between President Xi and President Biden in Bali, the first face-to-face meeting between the heads of state of the two countries over the past three years, offers a golden opportunity to shape the future of this relationship, and has naturally become a focus of international attention.
The strategic role of head-of-state diplomacy in developing bilateral relations is irreplaceable. The two presidents aimed to set the course and establish the parameters for the relationship, and spent more than three hours laying out their strategic intentions and key concerns and discussing issues of great significance to the bilateral ties and the global community. They agreed to prevent the relationship from derailing and getting out of control, to find the right way for two major countries to get along, to work out the principles or strategic framework for the relationship together, and to make sure that their consensus on managing and stabilizing the relationship is truly implemented.
The special timing and significance of this meeting cannot be overstated. It is a strong action taken at the head-of-state level to stabilize relations and prevent conflict. The common understandings reached thereof, if delivered, will kick start a process of “building bridges”, recalibrate the relationship and finally bring it back on track. This is undoubtedly great news for the international community, and will have a profound impact on the international landscape.
China is committed to strengthening friendship with its neighbors.
Choosing Indonesia and Thailand as the destinations of the first presidential visit after the Party Congress speaks volumes about how much China values its relations with neighboring countries.
Indonesia is a major developing country, a key emerging market and the world’s most populous Muslim country. It is also where President Xi first proposed the initiative on building a 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. Earlier in the year, the two countries had agreed to work toward a bilateral community with a shared future. During this visit, the two sides built on that consensus and signed a new action plan on their comprehensive strategic partnership for the next five years.
China values the geographical proximity, cultural affinity and people-to-people bond with Thailand. Marking the tenth anniversary of their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership this year, China and Thailand launched the process to build a community with a shared future for enhanced stability, prosperity and sustainability.
These fruitful results reveal the depth of friendship between China and its neighboring nations. They are also evidence that China’s efforts to promote a community with a shared future for mankind are turning from ideal into concrete policy and action.
China is committed to working together with partners around the world.
Fostering partnerships, not alliance, has been a key objective for China’s diplomacy. The plurality of China’s bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the G20 summit and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting suggests that it is no lip service. President Xi found time to converse with friends both old and new, and exchanged views with leaders of both the developing world and the developed Western nations.
With the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei and other neighboring countries, China would continue to deepen their friendship and cooperation. It seeks to increase understanding and trust with France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, to name just a few. It also commits to strengthen ties with the United Nations, and to work together on operationalizing the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and Global Security Initiative (GSI).
With regard to the Ukraine crisis, China voiced its unequivocal support for peace. As President Xi stressed, there is no winners from conflict and war and no simple solution to complex issues, and confrontation between major countries must be avoided. China always makes objective and fair judgment based on the merit of the matter, and works to bring parties together for peace talks.
The productive leader-level talks demonstrate that partnership is always possible through dialogue based on mutual respect and equality, even though views and positions may differ. More and more countries have come to realize that China’s development means the growth of the force for peace and progress, and that China is a friend and partner they can trust and work with.
As China’s first presidential trip overseas after the CPC’s 20th National Congress, President Xi’s visit provides a crucial indication for the direction of China’s diplomacy on the new journey. From Bali to Bangkok, China has shown confidence, responsibility and consistency in its foreign policy. The world can rest assured that China on its new journey will continue to be an opportunity for peace, development and progress.
Source(s): People’s Daily Online
US columnist: Qatar World Cup highlights Western double standards
Criticisms surrounding Qatar’s capacity and worthiness to hold the FIFA World Cup since the tiny Persian Gulf country won the bid has revealed the depths of Western prejudice, performative moral outrage and, perhaps most significantly, gross double standards, says a column article published on MSNBC’ s website on November 20, 2022.
Negative and racist commentary about the host country has included reports suggesting fans were paid to appear, migrant workers’ human rights and ideas that an Arab Middle Eastern country are not able to host such a big soccer tournament.
Ayman Mohyeldin, a MSNBC opinion columnist who had lived and worked in Qatar for five years, said Qatar has made progress and development, though improvement is still needed. And the country has done its best to balance social conservatism and limitations in order to welcome fans from different backgrounds while persevering its own cultural and religious norms and traditions.
Mohyeldin said Europeans and Americans should set a better example of how migrants in their own countries are treated. A recent inquiry concluded that France and the UK let 27 people die while the countries argued about who should rescue a sinking vessel with the migrants on board. If the Danish federation wants to oppose migrant conditions in Qatar, it should also protest conditions in Europe. Americans decrying Qatar’s migrant labor policies should likewise use the opportunity to discuss solutions to their own brutal treatment of migrants.
When Qatar won the bid to host the World Cup, some questioned how a country with little soccer history was allowed to host it. Such arguments belittle the purpose of the tournament, and ignore history, Mohyeldin said. He cited when the US won the World Cup, the country did not even have a professional soccer league. Japan and South Korea were hardly soccer nations and yet with the arrival of the World Cup to these countries, the sport has taken off in meaningful and lasting ways.
Qatar is currently the reigning Asian champion team and a major purpose of the tournament is to advance and promote the sport as a form of positive development, Mohyeldin said.
The tournament’s schedule was shifted to the cooler months of November and December to avoid the stifling heat, leaving many European soccer leagues and teams crying foul for disrupting their annual seasons and schedules. But no one seemed to complain that holding the tournament in summer months was going to disadvantage South American countries, which had to adjust to playing during their own seasons but had claimed nine World Cup championships among them.
No one is saying Qatar is perfect, Mohyeldin said, urging that one should be more nuanced in critiques and resist simply parroting generic biased accusations, without some self-reflection.
Source(s): China Daily
Russia planning fresh strikes, Ukraine tells visiting ministers
Ukraine said on Monday that Russia was preparing for a fresh wave of missile attacks on its energy grid that have plunged swathes of the country into the cold and dark.
The warning came as foreign ministers from several European countries, including NATO-hopefuls Finland and Sweden, arrived in Kyiv.
A Ukraine military spokesman said a Russian warship capable of firing cruise missiles had recently deployed to the Black Sea with Kalibr-type missiles on board.
“This indicates that preparations were underway,” said spokeswoman Natalia Gumeniuk.
“It’s quite likely that the beginning of the week will be marked by such an attack,” she added.
With temperatures dipping below zero, Ukraine said that repeated Russian attacks have left Ukraine’s energy grid teetering on the brink of collapse and have disrupted power and water supplies to millions over recent weeks.
Russia fired dozens of cruise missiles at targets across Ukraine last week, and an official in Kyiv said Monday that residents in and around the capital were still suffering disruptions as a result.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy cautioned in an address to Ukrainians late on Sunday that Russia was preparing new aerial attacks.
Russia has denied such claims and insisted that it only targets military-linked infrastructure facilities and blamed the blackouts and their civilian impact on Kyiv’s refusal to negotiate with Moscow.
“Damage to residential buildings and civilian casualties are really happening because of the Ukrainian air defenses, which are deployed not in cities’ suburbs, but rather in [city] centers,” Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, was quoted as saying by Russia Today on Monday.
Nebenzia noted last Wednesday that the buildings had been hit with “American air defense missiles supplied to Kyiv.”
The Ukraine presidency said Monday that Russian strikes had left four people dead in frontline regions a day earlier.
Prime Minister Denys Shmygal meanwhile announced that he had received the foreign ministers of the three Baltic states, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, as well as those from Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland.
He said the country representatives had “discussed the tightening of sanctions, the reconstruction of energy infrastructure and financial support.”
Xi’s overseas trip demonstrates China’s commitment to global growth, governance
BEIJING – President Xi Jinping returned to China on Saturday evening from a six-day trip, during which he attended the 17th Group of 20 (G20) Summit and the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting, and paid a visit to Thailand.
After the successful launch of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), China’s major-country diplomacy embarked on a new journey, said Wang Yi, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, state councilor and foreign minister of China.
During his six-day trip, Xi participated in more than 30 events, which has sent out a loud voice for promoting global development and leading global governance, demonstrating China’s role as a rational, confident and responsible major country, Wang said.
While addressing multilateral meetings and talking with leaders of other countries, Xi elaborated on the 20th CPC National Congress, Chinese modernization, win-win cooperation between China and the rest of the world, and championed bright prospects of China’s high-quality development and high-standard opening up, sending a strong signal that China will always advance world peace and development and deepen opening up and cooperation with other countries, Wang said.
The G20 summit has brought together world and regional major countries and is also a platform for international economic cooperation, Wang said.
At the summit, Xi called on all countries to embrace the vision of building a human community with a shared future, and to advocate peace, development and win-win cooperation, so as to replace division with unity, confrontation with cooperation and exclusion with inclusiveness, and make global development more inclusive and beneficial to all and more resilient.
Xi noted that modernization is not a privilege reserved for any single country, and frontrunners in development should sincerely help others develop, Wang said.
The Chinese president proposed building a global partnership for economic recovery and the International Cooperation Initiative on Global Food Security, and supported the African Union (AU) in joining the G20, showing that Xi has always cared for developing countries and stayed committed to the vision that “development is real only when all countries develop together” in diplomatic actions, which has received warm responses from developing countries, Wang said.
APEC is the most important platform for economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, Wang said.
Wang said that Xi wisely summarized the successful experience of Asia-Pacific economic cooperation, underlining that the Asia-Pacific is no one’s backyard and should not become an arena for big power contest. The Chinese president said no attempt to wage a new Cold War will ever be allowed by the people or by the times.
Wang said Xi called for building an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future that is peaceful, stable, clean and beautiful, a region where all are ready to help each other and that brings prosperity for all.
Xi also elaborated on the six points to promote Asia-Pacific cooperation facing new developments, including bolstering the foundation for peaceful development, taking a people-centered development approach, pursuing higher-level opening-up, striving for higher-standard connectivity, building stable and unimpeded industrial and supply chains, and promoting economic upgrading.
Wang said Xi announced that China is considering holding the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation next year to provide fresh impetus for the development and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific and the world.
Xi held face-to-face meeting with US President Joe Biden in Bali, where they had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on issues of importance in China-US relations and in world peace and development, Wang said, adding that the meeting was constructive and strategic. It was the first face-to-face meeting between the heads of state of the two countries over the past three years, particularly since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Wang said Xi stressed that China-US relations should be viewed and handled from the perspective of grasping the general trend of the world, abandon the zero-sum mentality of “you lose, I win,” and “you rise and I fall,” and set a tone of exchanges featuring dialogue rather than confrontation and win-win rather than zero-sum relations.
The two sides should uphold the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation to jointly ensure that bilateral relations will stay on the right course without deviating, stalling, not to mention colliding, he added.
In response to the erroneous words and deeds made recently by the US side concerning the Taiwan question and to make clear where the red lines are for China-US relations, Xi gave a full account of the origin of the Taiwan question and China’s principled position, stressing that the Taiwan question is at the very core of China’s core interests, the bedrock of the political foundation of China-US relations, and the first red line that can not be crossed in China-US relations.
Wang said that Xi urged the US side to match its words with action, abide by its commitment of “five noes” (i.e., not seek a new Cold War; not seek to change China’s system; the revitalization of its alliances is not against China; not support “Taiwan independence”; not look for conflict with China).
Biden said that a stable and prosperous China is good for the United States and the world. The United States and China have a shared responsibility to show the world that they can manage their differences, and avoid misperceptions or fierce competition from veering into confrontation or conflict, Wang added.
The US side reiterated its “five noes” commitment, and went on to state that the US side does not support “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan,” does not seek to use the Taiwan question as a tool to contain China, and has no intention to seek “de-coupling” from China, to halt China’s economic development, or to contain China.
The trip to Indonesia is Xi’s first overseas visit since the 20th CPC National Congress, reflecting the high-level and special feature of China-Indonesia relations, said Wang.
After a meeting between Xi and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the two countries released a joint statement, signed the new five-year Plan of Action for Strengthening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between China and Indonesia and forged important consensus on striving towards building a China-Indonesia community with a shared future, Wang said.
The two leaders also witnessed the trial operation of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway, which will cut travel time between Jakarta and Bandung to 40 minutes from more than three hours, he added.
During Xi’s visit to Thailand, the first since he became Chinese president, he met with Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, respectively.
The two sides agreed to build a more stable, prosperous and sustainable China-Thailand community with a shared future, adding new dimensions to their family-like relations.
During the 17th G20 Summit and the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, Xi met with leaders of various countries and international organizations. In response to their concern about the Ukraine crisis, Xi reiterated “the four points” about what must be done and “the four things” the international community must do together in response to the situation in Ukraine, Wang said.
The Chinese president also shared three important thoughts: First, conflicts and wars produce no winner; second, there is no simple solution to a complex issue; and third, confrontation between major countries must be avoided, he added.
Underlining that China will continue to make objective and fair judgments based on the merits of the issue itself, Xi said China has all along stood on the side of peace and will continue to promote peace talks.
During Xi’s trip, the Chinese foreign minister said, Professor Peng Liyuan, Xi’s wife, participated in a series of activities together with the spouses of other leaders and representatives attending the G20 summit and the APEC meeting, which has played a unique and positive role in boosting China’s international image.
Xi’s visit has effectively enhanced China’s international influence and discourse, Wang said.
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